From the Beer Writer: Hopcondido IPA has become the calling card of Escondido Brewing, and with good reason. The company’s flagship beer is its top seller and an award-winner. Best in show ponies are fantastic. One-trick ponies…not so much. Proof the county’s smallest brewery is no single-illusion equine comes in the form of Pioneer Room Porter. Its name holds reference to its maker’s namesake city, in this case, the Escondido library’s Pioneer Room, which contains newspaper archives and other historical pieces of the Hidden City’s past. Coming in at 6.5% alcohol-by-volume with a smooth, light texture, it’s a dark beer that’s low on roast but complex in flavor. Cola, milk chocolate, toasted pecan and black pepper co-mingle on the palate, accentuated by aromas of chicory, sarsaparilla and the faintest hint of anise. It’s worth skipping a mainstay, even if for a single pint of this winter-ready delight. Of course, if you’re still jonesing for some Hopcondido, you’re in luck. A rare, large-scale canning is on the near horizon and four-packs will be available on January 17.
From the Brewer: “Pioneer Room Porter is a light-bodied, easy-drinking ale made with nine different grains. Most of those grains, like the Carafa III and chocolate malts, give it notes of coffee and chocolate, while the base Belgian pale malt gives it the smooth, lighter character. A bit of flaked oats rounds out the silky finish and, with some white wheat, gives it a nice head. I think it’s a great beer for brisk Escondido winter days and has been a favorite with dark ale drinkers. We will soon have another porter available which we made in collaboration with our new neighbors from Little Miss Brewing and it will be called Esconia, so we’ll have a nice dark-ale lineup at EBC to kick off the New Year. Cheers!”—Ketchen Smith, Co-owner & Head Brewer, Escondido Brewing